Financial Aid

Law Student

Investing in law school is both a personal and financial commitment. The Admissions and Financial Aid team at the University of New Mexico School of Law is here to help you find ways to make your education more affordable. There are many opportunities for students attending UNM School of Law to fund their education. This past year, over 90% of UNM Law students received funding in the forms of fellowships, need-based aid, scholarships, and student loans.

We invite you to review the below information on student loan programs and various types of funding opportunities offered through the law school or from our external partners. If you have questions regarding any of these opportunities, we invite you to visit us on campus or contact us via phone or email.

The University Of New Mexico Office Of Student Financial Aid has an office located in the law school, room 2514. Please email the School of Law Financial Aid Officer at financialaid@law.unm.edu or call 505.277.9035 for assistance. All financial aid supporting documents for law students, including any requested forms or paperwork, should be sent directly the School of Law Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Scholarship Opportunities

The application deadline is March 1 for all need-based scholarships and specific named scholarships.

If you have any questions regarding need-based aid or merit scholarships, please contact the Admissions and Financial Aid team at financialaid@law.unm.edu.

Merit Scholarships

No application is necessary for most merit-based grants. Your application to the UNM School of Law will be evaluated automatically for merit awards. Merit awards are based on test scores, grades, academic achievements, recommendations and extracurricular and community involvement. Due to UNM’s very reasonable tuition rates, the cost of attending the UNM School of Law remains low. Accordingly, the number of merit-based awards is limited.

Name-based Scholarships

Through the generosity of our faculty, alumni, and friends of the law we are proud to provide a growing number of scholarship opportunities to our students. Some scholarships may have additional application requirements and deadlines while candidates will be automatically considered for others based on merit and/or need. Please visit our Opportunities within UNM Law section of our website for more information.

Need-based Scholarships

Each year, the law school awards a limited number of need-based grants to full-time students. Applying for law school need-based grants is a one-step process. Simply file a Need Access application online at Access Group. There is a $28 processing fee for new applicants and a $15 fee for renewals.

Applicants who were claimed as dependents during the most recent tax year must provide parental information. By filing the Need Access application, you will be considered for all law school grants for which you are eligible.

Scholarships and fellowships will post to your account in accepted status. It is your responsibility to budget, review your awards offered, and notify the UNM SOL Financial Aid Officer of any outside aid.

Student Aid Programs

To apply for work-study and student loans while at the University Of New Mexico School Of Law, all U.S. citizens and permanent residents must submit the Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).The school code for UNM is 002663. In addition to federal student loans and work-study eligible students may also apply for Alternative Student Loans and Veterans Benefits.

Federal Student Loans

These loans are funded, and serviced through the US Department of Education.

You are responsible for paying the interest on all Federal Student Loans during all periods. Interest accrues from the date of disbursement. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

Unsubsidized Loans

The unsubsidized loan for graduate/professional students is offered to students for $20,500 for the academic year as long as the aggregate limit of $138,500 has not been exceeded. Repayment begins 6 months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment.

Graduate PLUS Loans

The Graduate PLUS loan is a credit-based loan, with a higher interest rate and origination fee. It is offered up to your cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid received. If your request for this loan is denied based on your credit standing, you may appeal or seek an endorser (co-signer). If you successfully appeal a denied decision or acquire an endorser, you must notify the School of Law’s Financial Aid Officer.

Perkins Loan

The Federal Perkins Loan program is for students with exceptional financial need. Perkins loans have no origination or lender fees and a low interest rate. Interest does not accrue while you are enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours). Funds for this program are extremely limited. If you are offered and you accept a Perkins loan, you will be required to complete a master promissory note at www.signmyloan.com.

Loan TypeInterest
(Fixed for the life of the loan)
Origination Fee
(on or after Oct. 1, 2014)
Annual Limit
Unsubsidized 6.21% 1.073% $20,500.00
Graduate PLUS
(Credit Based Loan)
7.21% 4.292% Cost of Attendance minus all other aid
Perkins 5.0% 0% $2,000.00
Alternative
(Credit Based Loan)
Varies – Determined by Lender Varies – Determined by Lender Cost of Attendance minus all other aid

Please be aware, the interest rates, origination fees, and annual limits may change for the 2015-2016 Aid Year.

Alternative Student Loans

These may be taken out when you do not meet other loan criteria or need additional educational funding. These loans are credit-based and usually have a higher interest rate than the Graduate PLUS, depending on the lender. To view alternative loan options visit http://www.elmselect.com/Results/Index. If interested in taking out a private loan you will need to contact the lender directly.

Work-study

Federal Work-study (FWS) is a need-based student employment program that allows students to work on or off campus.

FWS is awarded to students who express interest on their FAFSA. It is awarded on first come first serve basis.

If you were not awarded FWS but have unmet need, you may contact the School of Law’s Financial Aid Officer. If there are available funds and you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be awarded FWS funds.

In order to be eligible for work-study you must be enrolled for six credit hours during fall/spring semesters or three in the summer. For summer work-study you must complete and submit a Summer Request for Work Study Form.

Veterans Benefits

To apply for VA Educational Benefits please visit www.benefits.va.gov or you may contact the UNM Veterans Resource Center.

Veterans Resource Center
SUB Suite 2002
MSC03 2215
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: 505.277.3181
Email: vrc@unm.edu
Website: http://vrc.unm.edu

Complete Your Financial Aid File

All federal student aid recipients must sign an "Authorization to Pay Allowable Charges" form, which authorizes UNM to use the students' financial aid to pay for allowable charges such as tuition/fees. The form may be downloaded from the Student Financial Aid Office website. Once the form is complete, please submit it to the School of Law Financial Aid Office.

Admitted students will be able to access LoboWeb through MyUNM after creating their NetID to view the status of their financial aid file. You may look under "Unsatisfied Requirements" to see if there are any additional documents required to complete your financial aid file.

Federal Student Loans

Accept Award

Once you are admitted and the School of Law Financial Aid Office has received all required documents to complete your file, you will be offered Federal Student Loans for the maximum amount you are eligible for based on your cost of attendance.

To accept your loans, you will need to log in to LoboWeb through MyUNM. From the Financial Aid Main Menu, select “Award Info Menu”, then “Award Package for Aid Year” and use the drop down menu to select the aid year. Click on the “Accept Award Offer” tab and use the drop down from the “Accept Award” column to select your decision for each award.

You may reduce or cancel your loan by notifying the School of Law’s Financial Aid Officer.

Complete a Master Promissory Note

All Federal Student Loans are processed directly through the Department of Education; you will need to sign a promissory note for each loan type at http://www.studentloans.gov. You will need to sign one for your Unsubsidized Loan and if you are taking out a Graduate PLUS Loan, you will need to sign another note. Once signed, the Master Promissory Notes are valid for 10 years.

Complete Online Entrance Counseling

If you are a first time Federal Student Loan borrower, you will need to complete Entrance Counseling online at http://www.studentloans.gov.

Disbursement

If you have a completed financial aid file and you are meeting the terms of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) your aid will disburse to your student account. Financial Aid will be disbursed on the first week of classes.

Financial Aid Refunds

Once your bursar account has been paid in full any aid left will be refunded to you. Direct deposit refunds take place on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. If you have not set up your direct deposit account, a refund will be mailed to the mailing address on file with UNM.

Financial Aid for Summer

To receive financial aid for summer, you must be enrolled in law school at least half time (3 credit hours) and have a complete financial aid file. Cost of Attendance for the summer semester is based on the number of hours and the number of weeks for which you are enrolled.

You must request summer financial aid by submitting a Summer Request for Loans/Work-study form to the School of Law Financial Aid Officer once you have enrolled for summer. In order to have your loan awarded by the tuition due date, this request must be received 10 business days before the summer semester tuition payment deadline.

Please keep in mind, summer is at the end of the academic year, so if you have received the maximum $20,500 in unsubsidized loan during the fall/spring semesters, you will have used all your eligibility for those funds. However, you may request a Grad PLUS Loan when submitting the Summer Request for Loans/ Work-study form to cover the cost of attendance for the summer term.

Payment Deadline/Enrollment Cancellation

Please be aware, failure to apply for financial aid in a timely manner does not relieve you of your obligation to meet the payment deadline. If by the payment deadline you do not have aid awarded or you have not made payment/set up a payment plan and you have a balance due from a previous term of more than $200 - your enrollment will be cancelled.

For payment/enrollment cancellation deadline go to bursar.unm.edu or check the Academic Calendar at unmevents.unm.edu.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The University Of New Mexico School Of Law adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) act of 1974. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student’s educational record. Federal regulations regarding the confidentiality of information about financial aid applications and awards provide that an institution must obtain prior authorization from the student before sharing any information with other individuals such as parents.

For this reason the UNM Financial Aid Office may not release a student's award status, account information, award amount and disbursement information of student funds without consent from the student.

If you, the student, decide to give information to anyone regarding your financial aid file you must complete the Student Information Release Proxy Form giving UNM permission to provide information to a relative/third-party. This form is only valid for the current academic year. You must present this form to an authorized UNM representative and show a photo ID. If the form is mailed, faxed, or submitted by someone on your behalf it must be notarized. The form can also be completed online by logging in with your (the student's) NetID and password.

Please Note: Completing a Student Information Proxy does not give others the right to act on your behalf or to change your records.

The Student Information Release Proxy Form is available online on the UNM financial aid forms page.

Awarding Policies

The UNM School of Law Financial Aid Office awards financial aid to students based on initial eligibility and enrollment. Please review the following School of Law financial aid policies and how they relate to your financial aid awards.

Changes To Your Awards

Once you have reviewed your awards and created a budget, you may request changes to your awards by submitting a Financial Aid Change Form. Be specific in your request; make sure you indicate whether the change is for the semester or aid year. It is to your benefit to make all requests before your aid has disbursed.

Reducing your aid after the disbursement date may generate a balance due on your account.

Please note, your awards may be adjusted by the Financial Aid Office due to changes in your enrollment, eligibility, or funding at any point during the semester. If your awards are adjusted a message will be posted to your LoboWeb account for a 30 day period.

Overawards

You must notify the Financial Aid Office of all outside resources of aid you will be receiving in order to avoid an overaward. Please be aware if you receive Title IV aid (federal funds) you cannot have a negative financial need. If you have a negative financial need or if you are awarded over your cost of attendance your file will:

  1. Be reviewed for a possible cost of attendance increase.
  2. If a cost of attendance increase is not possible or not enough to cover the overaward, then one or more of your awards will be reduced.
    • If you have already received your refund for the semester, a reduction to your aid may create a balance on your account for which you will be responsible.

Dual Degree Students and Tuition Remission Recipients

Students in dual degree programs are not eligible to receive UNM School of Law merit awards. This does not include name based merit scholarships.

Students receiving tuition remission benefits are not eligible to receive need based UNM School of Law scholarships. This does not include name based need scholarships.

Withdrawals

If you begin instruction at UNM, receive federal financial aid, and then withdraw from all classes (or fail to earn any credit for a semester), your financial aid may be adjusted according to federal regulations. The regulations state that students earn their financial aid based on the period of time they were actually enrolled. Federal Aid is earned on a pro-rated basis, and a student is not considered to earn 100% of aid until they attend past the 60% point of the semester.

If you completely withdraw or do not earn any academic credit for the semester, your financial aid may be prorated based on the last date you attended an academic related event. The last date of attendance is provided by your instructors when they assign a withdrawal or non-passing grade for the course.

If you withdraw before completing 60% of the enrollment period, you may have to repay a portion of the financial aid you received. The amount you will owe back to UNM cannot be determined until you have actually withdrawn and your Last Date of Attendance is reported by your professors. UNM will perform a calculation to determine if repayment is required.

The repayment policy is a pro-ration of earned versus unearned financial aid. The earned financial aid percentage is determined by taking the days attended in the period by the total days in the period. Keep in mind; by returning federal aid funds that had been used to pay your UNM charges you may be billed by UNM for any account balance created when the university is required to return funds. The balance due would be the result of tuition/fee charges that are no longer being covered by the unearned aid or unearned aid that the student received in an excess aid check (refund). This balance is in addition to any aid that you may be required to repay the Department of Ed.

Early Graduates Policy

Students who choose to complete their degree requirements prior to their scheduled graduation date will have changes to their financial aid Cost of Attendance (COA) and awards. All students seeking this path must notify the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid by May 1st for summer or August 1st for fall graduation. Failure to do so will result in a late adjustment of COA which may cause a full or partial return of funds and a balance due on your account.

Scholarship applicants should disclose this information at the time their application is submitted. If selected as a recipient for a need-based and/or merit scholarship, the recipient will be awarded half of the scheduled scholarship award. If the recipient attends in the summer, the other portion of the scholarship may be awarded during this term if funds allow.

Please Note: This only applies to need-based and merit scholarships administered by the School of Law Financial Aid Office. This does not apply to any named scholarships offered by the Law School or external funding sources.

For any questions regarding this policy please contact the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid at (505) 277-9035 or by email at financialaid@law.unm.edu.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations state that in order to be eligible for financial aid you must meet the terms of UNM’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Satisfactory Academic Progress has three main components:

  1. GPA; Law students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA. All grades earned at the University of New Mexico are considered in GPA calculation, regardless of grade replacements or academic renewal.
  2. Completion Rate; you must successfully complete 67% of the total credit hours attempted. For graduate students, 100- and 200-level classes count as hours attempted, but not hours earned, because they will not count toward the completion of a graduate degree. Repeated courses already counted as a completed course, and credit will not be earned twice. Courses taken for AUDIT are not counted in the student’s total course load for purposes of financial aid eligibility.
  3. Maximum Time Frame. To receive financial aid law school students must complete their degree within five years.

All terms of attendance including periods in which you did not receive financial aid are counted in the total number of attempted credit hours.

If you fail to meet the terms of SAP you will be ineligible for future federal funds. If there were extenuation circumstances you may submit a petition for an exception.

It is your responsibility to be familiar with UNM SAP policy and procedure.

Student’s Rights

By Federal legislation, as a student you have the right to know:

  • What financial aid programs are available
  • The deadlines for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs available
  • How financial aid is distributed
  • How your financial need was determined
  • How much of the determined financial need has been met
  • An explanation of the various programs in your aid package
  • The School’s tuition refund policy in case you withdraw
  • What portion of the financial aid is loan and must be repaid and what portion is not repayable grant/scholarship aid
  • For loans awarded, what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the repayment procedures, the length of time to repay the loan, and when the repayment is due to begin (information provided by loan servicer)
  • How the University determines satisfactory academic progress and the consequences if such progress is not met; and
  • That all documents submitted to the School of Law Financial Aid Office are confidential.

Student’s Responsibilities

In the same way, as a student you have the following responsibilities:

  • Read the information that the University is required to provide about policies
  • Complete and submit documentation/information as requested by the Financial Aid Office in a timely manner
  • Read and keep copies of all forms requiring a signature
  • Be aware of the terms of the assistance programs awarded
  • Be in compliance with federal financial aid regulations
  • Maintain current contact information (address, phone, e-mail, etc.) on file with the University of New Mexico
  • Accept responsibility for all signed agreements including the repayment of loans according to the stated terms
  • Notify the SOL Financial Aid Office promptly and in writing of any changes in financial circumstances that occur after submission of the aid application
  • Notify the SOL Financial Aid Office promptly and in writing of any change in academic status including changes in registration; and
  • Be aware of the school’s refund procedures.